The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
The Turtle is a flagship species for the conservation of the marine environment and is protected throughout most of the world. All seven species of marine turtles found globally are listed as vulnerable to extinction, endangered or critically endangered. The Hawksbill turtle, native to the Middle East, is listed as critically endangered with only an estimated 8,000 nesting females left worldwide. On a global scale the greatest threat to marine turtles are all caused by man.b Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah and is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.
The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project (DTRP) is based at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah and Madinat Jumeirah and is run in collaboration with Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office, with essential veterinary support provided by the Dubai Falcon Clinic and the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory.
The Goals of the Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
The project was started after the need for a turtle rescue and rehabilitation facility was realized by the Wildlife Protection Office - after stranded turtles started to be brought in to them. The main goals of the project are:
- Rescue, rehabilitate and release back into the wild any sea turtles that are found sick or injured throughout the region.
- Educate local children, citizens and international hotel guests about sea turtle biology and the local and global plight of the sea turtle.
- To understand the success of rehabilitation and to research turtle movements throughout the region and beyond via a satellite tracking initiative.
Sea turtle recovery process
Without exception, all of the turtles found in the DTRP were at one stage very sick or injured. Turtles are brought to Dubai’s Wildlife Protection Office or to the Aquarium team at Burj Al Arab by members of the public where the team closely monitor their recovery. During the recovery process, the animals are subjected to ongoing veterinary examination and monitoring, with appropriate medication or surgery being administered as necessary.
Once the team is satisfied with the progress and condition of the turtles, they are then transferred to the state-of-the-art Turtle Rehabilitation Sanctuary at Jumeirah Al Naseem. Animals that are already too weak to benefit from the treatment regime and succumb to their illnesses are sent to the Central Veterinary Research Laboratory where a full post-mortem examination is carried out to determine the cause of death.
The current public interface for the DTRP is an outdoor turtle rehabilitation enclosure located within the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel. The enclosure is open to the public every day (never closes) of the week; there is no need to book, and there is no charge. There's a small scheduled feeding starting at 11 am every Wednesday only (without exception) that anyone is welcome to join. Feeding takes about 20 minutes. Feeding priority is given to children, and the opportunity to feed is not guaranteed, although DTRP does its best to make everyone happy.
Credit: images of The Dubai Turtle Rehabilitation Project
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How to get there?
The public interface for the DTRP is an outdoor enclosure located within the Jumeirah Al Naseem hotel.